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Paying bills in Switzerland

Hello everyone,

What bills do you pay? If you are renting, are bills included in the price of rent, and is this common practice in Switzerland?

How can you pay your bills (e.g. online, at provider's store, at the post office)? Which is the most convenient or reliable way?

With what frequency are different bills sent in Switzerland? Are there different deadlines for payment?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Priscilla :

Hello everyone,

What bills do you pay? If you are renting, are bills included in the price of rent, and is this common practice in Switzerland?

How can you pay your bills (e.g. online, at provider's store, at the post office)? Which is the most convenient or reliable way?

With what frequency are different bills sent in Switzerland? Are there different deadlines for payment?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

If you rent a house, you often pay a fixed amount included in your rent for electricity, water, and so on. This amount must be specifically mentionned in your rent. In most cases, the actual costs for these things are calculated at June 30 each year. You'll get a refund if you paid too much, you'll have to pay extra if you've paid not enough in advance.
In some cases, you pay an "all-inclusive" price in your rent, and there is no final yearly recalculation at June 30. In some other cases, you'll pay bills for water, electricity, and so on, directly to the provider.
Which method applies usually depends on your landlord (or on what you and your landlord agree upon).

Rent payments (including any pre-payments for water etc.) are usually made monthly. If you pay directly to the provider, bills may come monthly or every 3 months - it will highly depend on the provider.
Such bills are usually paid in the same way as any other invoice: you'll receive a red or orange payment paper ("Einzahlungsschein"). You use the Einzahlungsschein to pay your invoice with e-banking (getting more and more usual), or at the post office (getting more and more uncommon, and the provider will have to pay a small fee if you pay this way). Digital payment methods, avoiding the paper Einzahlungsschein and making your bill appear directly in your e-banking programme, are getting more and more common.

For those coming from an anglo-saxon part of the world: cheques are virtually unknown in continental Europe.

Payment deadlines are comparable to any other invoice payment deadline. If nothing is specified, payment is expected within 30 days. Usually, deadlines are about 3 to 4 weeks after receiving bill/invoice.

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